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Saturday 24th August 2019

Lib Dem activists fail to force NHS vote

19th September 2011

Liberal Democrat activists have not been successful in their efforts to force a vote on changes to the health service at their conference in Birmingham.

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Although delegates at the conference had backed former MP Dr Evan Harris's call for them to be able to vote on parliamentary legislation relating to changes in NHS regulation, they did not achieve the necessary two thirds majority.

Detractors of the plans to overhaul the NHS have compared it to "partial privatisation" and critics have said it should be scrapped.

The government has carried out revisions of its plans to carry out NHS restructuring after a "listening exercise" in 2010.

The leadership of the Liberal Democrats have said they are happy with the changes but some MPs and medical professionals are not satisfied with the modifications. 

Dr Harris wished to submit the plans to a vote at the Lib Dem conference but the number of delegates who voted in favour of the idea fell short of the required majority at 235 votes to 183.

Deputy leader Simon Hughes had cautioned against the idea and said a new "shopping list" of demands on the NHS would be similar to "micro-managing" government policies.

"Don't score an own goal by unstitching a balanced conference," he said.

Delegates will still be able to consider the NHS plans during a debate on the issue in Wednesday but will not be able to vote on it.


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